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Grateful Dead Live at Barton Hall - Cornell University on 1977-05-08

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Grateful Dead Live at Barton Hall - Cornell University on 1977-05-08

Publication date 1977-05-08 (check for other copies)
Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Set 1

New Minglewood Blues
El Paso
They Love Each Other
Jack Straw
Lazy Lightnin' ->
Brown Eyed Women
Mama Tried
Row Jimmy
Dancing In The Street

Set 2

Scarlet Begonias ->
Fire On The Mountain
Estimated Prophet
Saint Stephen ->
Not Fade Away ->
Saint Stephen ->
Morning Dew

One More Saturday Night


Audience Splices -- Teddy Goodbear's Panasonic AM/FM Stereo 'boom box' (w/condenser mics) > CM (Cassette Master) > various equalizers & editors > CD


Reviewer: Legion of Mary - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 8, 2017
Subject: Great but Hyped
I was at this show and the next night. I loved both, I personally prefer Buffalo. Maybe this show has been hyped so much the last 30 years that it has jaded my opinion. A classic night nonetheless. The Dew is just incredible on several levels. There are several Scarlet>Fire's I prefer, yet this is a great one. (See Normal or Cedar Falls '78 or Nassau 11/1/79. Or Providence, Hampton, and Philly from Spring '84) And people please chill when someone mentions how bad Donna was live, they aren't bashing her. Almost a third of the 350-plus shows I saw included Donna, she had real issues on stage. But it rarely ruined a show. A song, maybe. But it was a great era, you had to be there to understand how bad she was and that at the same time it really didn't matter. Garcia was so amazing then. In fact my favorite era includes Donna, '72-'74.
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 4, 2017
Subject: The oneness

Talking about this show is like talking about the Beatles - you can't say anything new. That barn door was closed by the early 2000s. When this SBD hit the B&P scene in the late 80s, it was traded in clear, punchy low-gen. Because Phil was mostly lost on so many high-gen AUDs, on C90 this boomy SBD was a revelation, and was many heads' first clear peek at the year (the Moore AUD was common until the 90s). The show was great by provenance. Thus, instant legend - spoken of with hushed tones, reverence, religious fervor, anger, repulsion. I first heard the Betty in the lots - it didn't circulate out as quick as you'd think. Worth noting: this was a small-school, student council gig for the kids, in their gym - not a big NYC appearance, and not meant for posterity.

Of course, this show towering larger than life, and Deadheads being one-percenters, iconoclasts, bohemians, and non-conformists whose nature sidesteps critical consensus, there will be detractors for the sake of it (or we can just call them whiners...). Now that we have the whole tour in pristine gens, we can see that this show was matched/surpassed by others of the tour/year. It's still a must-hear if not a must-own (admittedly I revisit every few years). In reality, there IS NO best-ever Dead show. It would be sad if, out of over 2000 shows, only one was great! But there ARE a top 20, and this is one.

First Set. Jer starts like he's been playing for an hour already on Minglewood and the drummers are money on Loser. TLEO is always welcome but it's not the month's best. On Jack Straw Jer is all over the place behind Bobby's verses. Deal is way uptempo and jaw-dropping; listen to Bobby and Keith. Brown Eyed has a great tempo and Billy uses a late-70s four on the floor (some will love, some not). Bobby teases Good Lovin' but Jer starts Row Jimmy, whipping a wild slide solo and Donna is great. The Dancin' is famous...and not the tour's best.

Second Set. Keith plays the Snake Charmer Song (Streets of Cairo) tuning but Scarlet is the only average song of the show; kind of mellow, it's still a nice 26min ScarFire, and the last couple minutes are good. They're back on track for Estimated - a great '77. St. Stephen is average for '77 but Not Fade is incredible. Usually downtempo means draggy, but sometimes it means plunked right into the groove, sittin' square and rounding all the corners like a favorite couch. It has one of Jer's longest continuous eruptions ever. The Stephen>NFA sandwich with Dew is over 37min. The latter's not the tightest of the 3 on tour at first (4/27 is better, 5/22 excellent). Likewise One More Saturday is good yet not 4/30, 5/21, or 5/28.

1st Set:   A
2nd Set: B+
Overall = 5 stars

New Minglewood Blues - out t'gate brilliance
Loser - in the pocket
Jack Straw - Jer is all over the place
Deal - jaw-dropping; fetch a bandage
Brown Eyed Women - great tempo and Billy beats
Row Jimmy - crazy Jer slide solo
Estimated Prophet - great '77
Not Fade Away - groovy and injurious

The Holy Trilogy:
5/7/77 - A- More highest points, if a little less consistent and flowing
5/8/77 - A- Most consistent show but with fewer highest points
5/9/77 - B+ Least consistent, still with big high points

SOURCES: The best SBD is the cantor.sacks.266. Though still boomy (Barton SBDs have extreme low end that washes up to the mids), it is the least problematic. It's pitch-corrected (unlike some) and patched with the Moore AUD (except Supplication>Brown-Eyed Women - and I'm not sure a dead air track is needed). However I prefer the seamons matrix. It's thumpy but has a better image and energy. The dan.35086 matrix is incredible and if you find yourself going back to this show, try rotating it in. It's different than than the seamons, fills in missing gaps from the SBD, and creates a hall image missing from the dry Betty Board - even if he states you can make a viola ;). I would call Dan's assemblage and mastering a work of art, because as a tech head it moves me emotionally, but it's a work of fine audio engineering skill. Still, you have to pull all bass freqs wayyy down - though less so in the 24-bit. This would be counter-intuitive (humans can't hear the "extra 8 bits"), but there are factors involved with the equipment used and the results in this rare case are audible (24 bit circuitry has a different path than 16, so there is probably a component factor). Though it is missing some tuning gaps, it has more hall sound whereas other matrices lean toward the SBD. The hicks.4982 has way too much bass and weird track boundaries. Of course, the Jerry Moore AUD was outstanding for the era and lends itself to fine matrices; and now we can hear it in low gen. Dancing in the Streets is on Terrapin.

Selfimportantdeadhead - For a list of the hundreds of bands that had both genders, try Google. I'll let you think of a keyword that substitutes for "chicks".

Glynspsa - The key part being: YOU never heard a single person; even though there were thousands and even though there were trading vectors pre-net that had little preference for the Donna era. There are dozens of examples of the band at their best in the 78-92 years (as well as band members that preferred the Brent era, and the archivist[s] DOES choose from this era). The same wide-swath argument is used by curmudgeons that espouse pre-Keith. Wedging all DeadHeads in your box: GLWT. If you have an era preference, MPTY. That's the beauty.

Juanie - Discussing Donna isn't a "pissing contest", it's reviewing. Sometime she adds, sometimes she detracts, sometimes cats leave the neighborhood. It doesn't take a professional to critique a Donnaskreech any more than shoes-in-dryer, guitars losing intonation in the sun, or Bobby's slide practice - just a musician's ear. Tempered Donna is likely one of the reasons for this show's vaunted status. Kreutzmann said in his book that, though he likes Donna: "I never felt she fit...she sang in tune but it was the timbre - like colors clash". He was wrong about the tuning part, some of the time. Bless him, he doesn't want to lose a friend.  /soapbox
Reviewer: glynspsa - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2015
Subject: pre internet
i never heard a single person state that anything post donna years was the band at their best. Now tons of keyboard jackasses and those wishing what they saw was the best try to push their touring years as the best. It just is not so. Both archivists agree and they know the band as well or better than anyone.
Reviewer: selfimportantdeadhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2015
Subject: my sweet Donna
I dont care what the 650 show tour rats have to say bout Donna. When i started listening to this band in 1989 this year was my favorite(its been surpassed by 1982). I thought at the time what guts the Dead had for having a chick in their band. Only Fleetwood Mac could say the same. I have more of a problem with Jerry's '84-'95 vocals than anything Donna ever did in this band. May '77 what else needs to be said?
Reviewer: juanie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 8, 2015
Subject: Take a step back ...
Let's all heed Bobby's advice here. Time to chill with the "Donna sucks" and the "Well, Donna did suck" and the "I went to more shows than you" pissing contests. She never had the voice of an angel (I think her better material was with Maria Muldaur when she performed with JGB). But, she was critical in the three-part harmony after Phil went (mostly) quiet. Without her it was just Jerry and Bobby, and 1 + 1 doesn't equal 3. Oh yeah, great show, but I'll add my vote to the "overrated" box.
Reviewer: Miss the Seventies - favoritefavorite - February 15, 2015
Subject: Great Show But Very Overrated
You kids are so sensitive, why get all wet in the pants at Donna Sucked and We All Know It? He/she happens to be right on the money. I saw a little over 400 shows from '70 to '91, only 10-12 after 1988. I saw around 130 with Donna, and she was absolutely horrible live. You kids weren't there so you don't know, all you have are "reputations" of shows and the twisted lore started by the online community the last 15 years., and that isn't reality. I saw 25 shows in 1977, including this one. This was a great, great show but not the end all/be all it is made out to be. My favorite May shows were Buffalo and Chicago, the June Winterland run was great, but I liked the Fall '77 shows better actually. Garcia had the Wolf back on the road and the band was really rolling. Englishtown is probably my favorite of the year I attended. Kids - please grow up and stop harping on people just because they think Donna sucked on stage. She did, even the band thought so. She was a studio singer not a stage singer, [plain and simple. People went back to the shows because Garcia was amazing before he got strung on heroin. Saying someone is not bright because they kept going to shows even though Donna sucked is a completely idiotic comment. Enjoy the shows, stop being jealous, and stop harping on people, especially when they are right!
Reviewer: phipparama - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2015
Subject: We are supposed to be Hippies Peace and Love remember
I am tired of reading these comments. Some dude even called someone an idiot. I was at about a dozen shows and few Gerry shows, and that means nothing. Somehow everyone that was at these shows missed something. Does anyone that went to 10 thousand shows remember the peace sign everywhere. Why is this person wrong or right? Everyone had their own experience there or listening now. Just stop the hate because honestly most of you sound like 14 year old trolls on youtube. Sorry, Google fixed that by making people own up to their comments. I listen to the music and avoid the comments because most of you have forgotten or never knew what peace and love meant. Grow up and for God's sake stop thinking because you went to x number of shows that makes you Jesus. I was at Cap center in the 80's and I saw Jesus walking down the road. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to listen to great music. The most humble man ever was Jesus, so whether you believe in God or not understand the message. CHILL OUT DAMMITT!!!! He was at the shows also!!! And Loved Them All
Reviewer: boscomorgan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 7, 2014
Subject: So critical
The whole band hated donna's voice. Why would you keep going back if you hated her voice? Another thing DSWANI [donna sucked and we etc,etc talk all the shit you can in hopes someone believes what you post. Donna harmonizes on alot of songs and a couple she sings alone but you kept going back, you sound kinda not real bright. And yes THIS SHOW IS OVERRATED.
Reviewer: GibsonES335 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2014
Subject: betty board!
anyone who rates this show below a 4 should be ignored, that being said if you listen from start to finish you'll understand why this is considered one of the greatest shows of all time. Everyone was on point this and every song played on this night is an outstanding version. The Betty recording is another factor to why this show has the status it does, it just sounds outstanding.

If you even consider this show overrated I'd suggest naming another show that has the reputation as this one - this show has gotten numerous people turned on to the dead, me included, May 1977 was just a special time
Reviewer: Donna_Sucked and We All Know It - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2014
Subject: Overrated Show
Classic show but sickeningly over hyped over the years. That said, great Dew for this time period.

Donna as usual ruins many songs. She even admitted - and everyone in the band knew this - she cannot sing on stage. She was passable in the studio but had severe pitch problems live, Garcia said so, Weir said so, Lesh said so, even Donna said so. We had to suffer through that era as fans, I saw only 30 or 40 shows when Donna was in the band out of the 330-plus shows I saw, most were between '79-'85, first was in '72. But man was she awful live. I rememebr one show in '77 at the Palladium in NYC we had people covering their ears she was screeching so horribly. Weir said Brent was by far the best vocalist they had and that his singing was horribly missed when he OD'd. I agree with Weir.

This is the best recording of this show, the one we've liked since the foot locker auction in the late-'80's.

Sorry kid, you're the idiot...I forgot more about this band than you will ever know..hundreds of live shows starting in '72...and yes learn what the actual band members say. And quit ragging on others, you come across very young and dumb and rude. Like Stratocaster - man that kid needs to see a shrink! Again, great show, sickeningly over hyped, and those of us actually seeing shows on this tour know the deal.
Reviewer: recentparolee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2013
Subject: Sublime
If someone said: "We are putting you on that rocket ship over there for a 10-year voyage to Mars, and you only get to bring a single recording of any kind", I would bring a matrix version of Cornell '77. 'Nuf said.
Reviewer: stratocaster - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 11, 2013
Subject: The reviewer below is a lost sailor
always one jerk in every crowd, this dude must have eaten a bad veggie burrito...classic show, worthy of five stars...

also, the fact that you need to qualify how much of an expert you are by how many shows you've seen is the true mark of an idiot...yes Donna wasn't so great on stage, blah blah blah, her performance should not detract from this show's rating...still five stars...don't bother with some dumb retort about how you saw shows back in 72 or you read some interview with Wavy Gravy or that you met Garcia in 75 and he flicked a cigarette butt at you because you were annoying, nobody cares...just review the source and make performance observations, man...
Reviewer: softmachinethird - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2013
Subject: Donna D
Anyone who says Donna's voice took away from the band ( post 1976) can suck it. She is beautiful and I love her. If anything Phil (post 1972) was vocally holding them back and even sometimes Brent. Thats right I said it, Brent was holding them back.

PS this has got to be a standard of Jack Straw and many other songs
Reviewer: splitopennmelt1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 23, 2013
Subject: Bananas
Dancin is insane! Yeah Jer
Reviewer: mikemet - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 31, 2012
Subject: BB FTW
Betty Board for the win!

This version is CLASSIC. Nothing compares. Bettys ear for music balance is unmatched. Untouchable

The show is 5 stars. Sound 5 stars. Nothing makes me SCREAM in this show like some older 71 stuff. IE: hidden classic- 1971-10-24 I listen with my bose headset and the bass is off the charts. 1971-12-10 cough.
Reviewer: Tidewater four ten O nine - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 30, 2011
Subject: Read the Text File
Filler - 05/07/77
Master Reel->PCM->DATs->CDRs->SHN (etree source)
6. Terrapin (10.38)
7. Samson & Delilah (7.18)
8 Friend Of The Devil (8.12)
Reviewer: P.M. Kramer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 29, 2011
Subject: where is filler from ?
of course a great show
where is the filler from ?
Reviewer: Zaorish - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2011
Subject: Good show, but the MTX is better
Show: Great. Not the best S>F ever, not the best NFA ever, not the best St. Steve ever, but definitely the best Morning Dew and Row Jimmy ever, and everything else is played flawlessle.

Sound: This SBD is flat. Concert recordings are like women, you want them full and richly endowed. Get the AUD or MTX by clicking on "check for other copies" above.

Show: 5. Sound: 3. 4.
Reviewer: Hashjihad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2011
Subject: YEA
Seriously I listened to this show and never looked back! Phil bombs me to oblivion.

Reviewer: jalang63 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 5, 2011
Subject: make a cd copy
Can anyone tell me how to make a cd copy of this stream?
Reviewer: lzylightnin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2011
Subject: wow
I just crapped my pants. Da Best. Unbelievable.
Reviewer: craw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2011
will capture the stream as one long track...other freeware can splice it if you want
Reviewer: jawaln - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2010
Subject: Were you there?
I'm just in the very beginning stages/brainstorming a book on the concert from 5.8.77.

Widely considered to be the best show the band ever played, I'm hoping to gather enough photographs, recollections and other assorted information to turn the book into an oral biography. But of a show, not a person.

If you were there and would like to tell me about the show/what you recall/what you saw please be in touch. No memory is too small!

Feel free to email me at


Jawal Nga
Reviewer: Irwinguitars - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 15, 2010
Subject: Barton Hall--Ithaca NY
Supreme recording...doesnt get any better. I can only imagine this show. Been to Cornell U. many times at later dates...what a there a way to download this to format CD..anyone help? have windows 7 is this possible cause i dont know how..tell me...
Reviewer: Fjist - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 27, 2010
Subject: stumbled upon this on Grooveshark
This is the best Scarlet/Fire I have ever heard.

Interestingly, it is a year and a half before Shakedown Street (Nov 78) was released.
Reviewer: Colonial - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2010
Subject: unbelieveable!!!
First of all to the reviewer below if you want a copy of this on cd email me at and ill gladly hook you up. Second of all the sound quality here is incredible...even though this is a killer show and widely believed to be their "best" I still think there are better shows out there. This one is great though and definetely worth the listen
Reviewer: Jinglebell Rainbow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 1, 2010
Subject: Yes
Jerry Phil and Keith are on and I mean ON. Makes for a legend of a show. The Dew of course is one of the best ever, really that is what puts this show over the top. Plus the sound on this recording is most kind.
Reviewer: geraldusa - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 17, 2010
Subject: Uninspired
So I was reading though the reviews and some asshole writes that Barton was a "rather uninspired show." Right.....I'm not saying it was the best ever or any of that shit, but uninspired???? When you look up asshole in the dictionary the guy that wrote that line is pictured right there with its definition. What a fuckin' joke. If you don't like the Dead that's fine. But, if that's the case, don't bother to comment.
Reviewer: Michael Winston - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2009
Subject: Wow
Great show. Is Bobby playing slide?
Reviewer: CassidyC - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 6, 2009
Subject: My 1st review & fave show
Not only has this always been in my top 10 fave shows since i 1st heard it, but this is the ***best*** quality i've ever heard in my too many years of being a dhead. gotta love those betty boards ;)

Many thanks to all who made this possible for us to hear including internet archive :)

Reviewer: )€-\) H€-\) - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 20, 2009
Subject: their friends were already horribly smashed
or at least I would have been, or bug eyed. What can you say? It is a reference point to go to when you need to see what a tight show should be. I wouldn't call it overrated, like many dare to be different's do, I would say classic and one of a few that holds the true 5 star rating. Listen and enjoy!!! Peace my brothers and sisters, in the dead's name we pray, amen.
Reviewer: BamaDead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 17, 2009
Subject: From the First Deadhead book I read
Its like when several have a race, and after a long time they stop and ask , who won. The answer is, everyone wins, we all shall win prizes. This concert should satisfy all.
Reviewer: Pulver@Noyo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 5, 2009
Subject: Me too!
It's gets a cinco on Cinco de Mayo from me too! Thanks, Betty!
Reviewer: gringo jim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 19, 2009
Subject: holy smokes!
How come this recording, now made famous in the New York Times as the best GD concert recording ever, has not been reviewed until now?

Oh well, I'll give it a 5 anyway
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